Centre announces merger of four film bodies with NFDC

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The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Wednesday through three different orders transferred the mandate of production of documentaries and short films, organisation of film festivals and preservation of films to the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC). The NFDC is a PSU working under the Ministry.

In a statement the ministry said that bringing all these activities under a single management will reduce the overlap of various activities and ensure better utilisation of public resources.

The mandate of production of feature films is already being carried out by NFDC. It will give a strong impetus to the production of films of all genres including feature films, documentaries, children films and animation films; promotion of films through participation in different international festivals and organising various domestic festivals; preservation of filmic content, digitization and restoration of films; and distribution and outreach activities.

“The ownership of the assets available with these units will, however, remain with the Government of India,” the ministry said.

By the orders issued today, the mandate of production of documentaries that was earlier done by the Films Division has been completely transferred to NFDC. The legacy and brand name of the Films Division will be taken further and the Production Vertical for production of documentaries in the NFDC will be named as ‘Films Division’.

Similarly, the organization of film festivals that was the mandate of Directorate of Films Festivals has been transferred to NFDC. “This will bring the organization of different national and international film festivals under one roof, thereby bringing in more synergy and a focused international outreach,” the ministry said.

The Preservation related activities that are carried out by National Film Archives of India have also been transferred to NFDC. The National Film Heritage Mission aiming at digitisation and restoration of films and documentaries will now be implemented by NFDC.

Audio Visual Service is one of the 12 champion service sectors identified by the Department of Commerce, and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is the nodal Ministry for this sector.

“This will also be spearheaded by the NFDC through its Film Facilitation Office. The Government of India has made a budgetary allocation of Rs 1304.52 crore up to 2026 for all these activities, which will be implemented through NFDC. In order to further strengthen the NFDC, it has been decided that the revenues generated by these activities will also accrue to NFDC,” it said.

The ministry claimed that the merger of Film Media Units under the Corporation will ensure a balanced and synergised development of the Indian cinema in all its genres- feature films, documentaries, children’s content, animation and short films and will lead to better and efficient utilisation of existing infrastructure and manpower.

In December, 2020, the Union Cabinet had decided to merge four of its film media units, namely Films Division, Directorate of Film Festivals, National Film Archive of India, and Children’s Film Society, India with the National Film Development Corporation Ltd by expanding the Memorandum of Articles of Association of NFDC, which will then carry out all the activities hitherto performed by them with the objective of ensuring synergy, convergence of activities & better utilisation of resources.

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